LISSITZKY, EL [LAZAR MARKOVICH], illustrator.
KVITKO, LEIB. Ukraynische Folkmayses [Ukrainian Folk Tales]. [Berlin: Buchdruckerei Lutze & Vogt,] 1923.
8vo. 98 pp. Translated from the Ukrainian by Leib Kvitko. With 10 illustrations by Lisstizky. Original Suprematist decorated wrappers in red designed by Lissitzky. Wrappers slightly discolored with occasional light staining; backstrip extremities with minor chipping.
ONLY EDITION WITH THESE ILLUSTRATIONS. The charming, child-like pictures combine Cubist and folk elements to produce some of Lissitzky's best illustrations for young readers. The folk tales include "A Glove," "A Dumpling" and "The Flying Ship." Born in a shtetl near Smolensk, Lissitzky studied in Vitebsk (now part of Belarus) before applying to art school in St. Petersburg. He was rejected due to the quota on accepting Jewish students. He went to Germany to study art. He became fascinated with ancient Jewish culture while in Paris and eventually returned to Russia. Marc Chagall invited him to teach in the People's Art School there. The decorative and abstract cover design of Ukraynische Folkmayses anticipated his acceptance of Suprematism after Kazimir Malevich's arrival in 1919. Leib Kvitko [1890-1952] was a well-known Ukrainian-born Yiddish poet. As a member of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee (JAC), he was an editor of the organization's newspaper Einigkeit and literary magazine Heymland. During Stalin's final pogrom, Kvitko was arrested with other members of JAC and executed in Moscow on the Night of the Murdered Poets of August 12, 1952. Apter-Gabriel 103.